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WellSpan Health and Evangelical Community Hospital Announce Definitive Agreement to Combine Health Systems

February 26, 2024

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WellSpan Health and Evangelical Community Hospital have entered into a definitive agreement to enhance community-based health care across the region. Pending regulatory approval, Evangelical Community Hospital will become WellSpan Evangelical Community Hospital on or about July 1, 2024. Their accompanying network of care serving the Central Susquehanna Valley will also join WellSpan, expanding the combined reach of the organizations across 12 counties in Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland.

A mutual commitment to reimagining healthcare through exceptional, innovative clinical care along with WellSpan’s successful approach to value and superior outcomes which are affordable and convenient serves as the cornerstone of the affiliation.

“We recognize the shared vision WellSpan has for community-based care, and we were deliberate in the decision to choose a partner who would ensure our patients continue to receive the high quality care they have come to expect from Evangelical Community Hospital,” said Kendra Aucker, president and CEO of Evangelical Community Hospital. “The industry is facing strong financial and workforce headwinds, and this integration will provide the best path forward, so we may continue to provide for the health and wellness needs of our communities well into the future.”

Serving the Central Susquehanna Valley, Evangelical Community Hospital is the only Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 5-star rated hospital in the region. It employs 1,900 individuals and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff at its hospital licensed to care for patients in its 131 licensed beds. The hospital provides a comprehensive array of services in both inpatient and outpatient settings and serves residents in Lycoming, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties.

The affiliation joins Evangelical with WellSpan’s integrated health care delivery system, which includes more than 21,000 team members, 2,000 employed providers, 220 locations, and eight award-winning hospitals, including the region’s largest behavioral health network and a Level 1 Trauma Center. WellSpan currently serves residents in Adams, Cumberland, Lancaster, Lebanon, Franklin, and York counties in Pennsylvania and Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland.

Combined, the organizations will serve more than 1.3 million patients across 12 counties.

“When we embarked on our journey to reimagine healthcare at WellSpan, we committed to innovation while keeping healthcare local. We’re excited to build on that commitment with Evangelical,” said Roxanna Gapstur Ph.D., R.N., president and CEO of WellSpan Health. “As the only locally-governed health system in Central Pennsylvania, our mission is focused on improving the health of our friends and neighbors. When health outcomes improve through innovative care models, strategic partnerships, and a strong sense of purpose, it creates a fantastic combination.”

WellSpan’s value-based care approach has been successfully implemented through the dedicated focus of clinical service lines and the WellSpan Medical Group in partnership with the WellSpan Provider Network.  The affiliation will support advanced specialty care, including technology and innovations that revolutionize treatment. Shared digital health innovations and strong graduate medical education resources will expand access for the communities across the region. 

“Joining an established and successful health system where quality, safety and innovation are top priorities ensures we preserve a vibrant healthcare system close to home,” added Aucker. “At the end of the day, we work for this community and our job is to care for it. With this partnership, that will not change.”

For more than three decades, WellSpan has enhanced access to exceptional care across the communities in South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland. In 1990, York and Gettysburg Hospitals first came together to form what would become WellSpan Health. Since that time, six other hospitals have combined to create greater value throughout the region. Evangelical Community Hospital’s affiliation with WellSpan will provide a similar path.

A separate philanthropic foundation will be created as a community pathway for hospital support, similar to WellSpan’s other hospital foundations.

“We have great respect for what Evangelical Community Hospital means to its surrounding communities and we know our mutual values of integrity and respect for all will make this a great fit,” added Gapstur.